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French actor Édouard Baer accused of sexual harassment and assault in #MeToo report

Édouard Baer at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, 2019.
Édouard Baer at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, 2019. Copyright Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
Copyright Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
By David Mouriquand
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In a joint investigation by Médiapart and Cheek, six women testify that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by the French actor, who has offered his “sincerest apologies”.

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French actor Edouard Baer has been accused by six women of sexual violence, in a joint investigation by Médiapart and Cheek.

The report, published today (Thursday 23 May), states that the events took place between 2013 and 2021, largely in professional contexts. 

The women who testified, half of whom are of African descent, were in their twenties at the time of the events. According to the investigation, most of these women crossed paths with the 57-year-old actor on sets or show recordings.

One young woman said she had to fight off the comedian, who tried to kiss her “on the neck and mouth” in the toilets before a show recording. Another woman, aged 26 at the time of the alleged events, accused the actor of having grabbed “her left breast with his hand” in a lift, while another alleged victim allegedly had her buttocks fondled by Baer. Others testify to multiple daily calls that could be construed as harassment.

The two media outlets behind the investigation contacted the actor, who expressed surprise at the accounts.

“It is with shock and great sadness that I discover the accounts that you are reporting to me,” said Baer. “I do not recognise myself in the words or gestures attributed to me, but I can only express my regret that my behaviour made these women feel uncomfortable or hurt. I did not have the intelligence to perceive this. For that I am deeply sorry.”

The actor added, with regards to the six women: “I never set out to hurt them intentionally. I apologise.”

No complaint has yet been lodged against the actor.

It remains to be seen whether this is the first domino to fall. The #MeToo report has been looming over the Cannes Film Festival since the start of this year’s edition, and rumours are circulating that more prominent names from the French film industry will follow. 

The industry has been rocked by numerous #MeToo accusations, in particular those of French actress Judith Godrèche, who is in Cannes this year with her short film Moi Aussi, which sees several victims speak out over sexual violence they have experienced in a professional context.

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